Friday, June 21, 2024

Michael Keaton says his Batman voice comes from a “trance”

Michael Keaton has revealed the method behind his Batman voice, saying that the character’s “controlled psychosis” inspired the trademark.

As Michael Keaton gets ready to suit up as Batman once again in this month’s The Flash, many will be looking – and listening – for so much of what makes him the quintessential Caped Crusader for a generation. And yes, that includes the voice, which the trailer promised Michael Keaton will be bringing back when he returns as Batman.

Speaking with Empire, Michael Keaton said his Batman voice, which proved one of the defining characteristics of his interpretation, served a genuine function in differentiating the man and the bat. “He’s got two personalities. The guy is not psychotic but not far from it. Controlled psychosis…In order for me to justify all this, I can’t be changing the oil on the Batmobile and then saying, ‘well, I have to kill some people’ so he probably ends up going into some deep, deep trance, which is a scene that I don’t think ever made it in. How do you justify the voice? It’s cheesy but I figured once he’s in the trance, he doesn’t think like he does like Bruce Wayne, doesn’t act like he does. So the voice came out of that, it was a really practical thing.”

Whenever a new Bruce Wayne/Batman is cast, fans immediately want to know what the batsuit will look like. After that, surely they want to know what Batman will sound like, especially after Keaton redefined the voice in 1989. From there – and without going into everyone who portrayed him (with due respect to Val Kilmer and George Clooney) – Christian Bale took it to an easily mocked max, Ben Affleck got some aid from a voice modulator and Robert Pattinson attempted to be as unique as possible on the set of The Batman…which didn’t exactly work out. “Everyone does this kind of gruff, gravelly thing, and I’m like, ‘I’m going to do the opposite — I’m gonna go really whispery.’ And I tried to do it for the first two weeks, and it just looked absolutely atrocious, and they told me to stop doing it.” He would agree with Keaton, however, that the Batsuit does something to Bruce Wayne. “You can feel when it feels right…You put the suit on, and you have to speak in a certain way.”

Although Keaton’s hiring was initially far from a hit with fans (something that actually later inspired Mark Hamill to step out of his comfort zone when deciding to voice The Joker), he still remains to so many – myself included – the Batman.

Where does Michael Keaton’s Batman voice rank? Who did the animated voice the best? Let us know in the comments below!

Originally published at

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NY Editor

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